PSYCH 3CB3 Lecture Notes - Mahzarin Banaji, Embeddedness, Ingroups And Outgroups
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Structure and Function of Attitudes 01/17/2014
Day 1- January 15th
Structure and Function of Attitudes
Believed that we have stored representations of our attitudes
How are related attitudes stored?
Theory: we access information relative to an attitude object and we come up with an attitude on the spot.
Context effects may be relevant then because they predict the way that we determine our attitudes on the
If attitudes are stored, what part of them is stored and where are they stored and what elements are stored?
What is the relationship between implicit and explicit attitudes?
Each different model of attitudes suggests different storage and representation of attitudes-> by testing how
attitudes are stored we may be able to agree about WHAT an attitude really is.
Can also tell us of how to change attitudes
Different storage of attitudes-> tell us how these attitudes are formed-> determine behaviour.
Some attitudes, based on how they are formed or their importance to us may be stored or
Structures of Attitudes
Consistency across-> same attitude at one time compared to another, more often consistency
between the components of an attitude.
An attitude is influenced by emotions-> feel certain ways towards attitude object(s)
Beliefs about things
Behaviours towards attitudes
Ambivalent attitudes-> positive and negative feelings towards a specific attitude objects (cognitions).
Inconsistency within the cognitive domain
May also have ambivalent feelings about an attitude object-> cognitive and emotional.
May have a positive cognitive (nice person), negative emotions (dislike) or vise versa.
Speed at which we can access attitudes-> where the attitude is stored, importance, etc may effect our
ability to access these attitudes.
What determines accessibility?
Assume that strong attitudes are more readily accessible-> really important attitudes, extreme or intense
How attitudes come to be strong attitudes? Are they stored differently which determines the strength of
Value of the attitude, to what degree does it shape one’s behaviour.
Models of Attitude Structure and Storage
Fishbein & Ageson (1970s): The Expectancy Valued Model
Attitudes are nothing but cognitions with varying degrees of strength.
A series of qualities, beliefs about certain attitude objects-> quality is expressed as a probability of the
extent to which the individual possesses this quality.
All qualities are not equally relevant or important to us
Attitude-> collection of these qualities
Attitudes shape our emotions and behaviours but does not necessarily determine it.
Zanna & Rempel (1980s): One Factor Model- weighted versions of all three factors (ABCs-> Affect,
The attitude importance is determined by the extent to which it is able to help us reach our goals.
To what extent does this attitude represent positive or negative emotions, tendency to approach or avoid an
object-> cognitions about an object-> attitude.
(1980s): Two Factors
Factors: affect and cognition are involved in attitudes
Collection of cognitions and emotions and the relationship between them is the attitude.
No behavioural components-> these two combined shapes behaviour.
Three Factor Model (1950s/60s):
Three parts to an attitude-> cognitive (beliefs), affect (emotions) and behaviours (past behaviours towards
Correlations between all three-> affect to behaviour, cognitive to behaviour.
Less correlated these factors are, the more ambivalent our attitudes are-> less ambivalent= more
Combination of affect, accessible cognitions or beliefs and past experiences ARE the attitude-> what we
store and report as attitudes.
How do we decide which model is correct?
Validity-> the relationship between the model and reality
Convergent validity: measures of attitudes are correlated are similar to those of the model.
Do not get high correlations between the different components of attitudes (affect, behavioural, cognitive).
Measures within one component are correlated (e.g different measures of the cognitive component).
Discriminate validity: one particular model is more plausible than other models (statistically).
One study showed that the Three Factors model was better than the One Factor, other study said that the
One Factor model was better than both the 2 and 3 Factor model.
Different modes of storage-> different models may be better at explaining the storage of a particular attitude
better than another model.
Zanna & Rempel: the affect, cognitive and behavioural aspects shape and drive the attitude towards a
Structure of Attitudes
Attitudes are related to each other
Higher (strong) attitudes can lead to the development of additional attitudes on similar things (vertical
structure of attitudes).